family has spawned two talented DJ/producers. Younger brother Joris is a disciple of Detroit Techno who formed the influential Rejected Recordings label with Edwin Oosterwal. Older brother Jesse has a funkier vibe, mixing electro and progressive for energetic floorfillers. With releases on respected labels like Stealth
, and Black Hole
and a weekly radio show broadcast to over 25 countries, he has set his goal on conquering the United States. When you listen to his music, you will realize that 2015 just might be the year it happens.
RS: So where is your brother?
Jesse Voorn: Ah, somewhere in Amsterdam probably.
RS: One thing that is always confusing is that there are two guys named Voorn that start with J, Jesse and Joris, is there any relation there?
Jesse Voorn: He is my brother.
RS: Oh, he is your brother? I didn’t realize that!
Jesse Voorn: Yeah, it’s a small world.
RS: Are you the younger or the older one?
Jesse Voorn: I am the older one.
RS: Did you get into music first or did he get into music first?
Jesse Voorn: It depends on how you look at it. He was more seriously into music first, but in 1994 I started to produce my first tracks. Then after that, I didn’t produce at all for 12 years and he started to do it. I did the first small bit and then he took over.
RS: How do you describe your style of music?
Jesse Voorn: It’s hard to say, in the US they probably call it EDM but I have never been too fond of the term. To me it is electrohouse with a touch of progressive and even a little bit of tech going on. As long as it’s funky and has good energy, I am happy.
RS: Right now, you are signed in the US to Tazmania records.
Jesse Voorn: Yes, I have done two records with them; the last one was released earlier this year. They are really nice guys and a great label; it is good to be there.
RS: How did they find you?
Jesse Voorn: I have a remix manager that works closely with them, and so I did a couple of remixes for them first and then we started talking and they said let’s do a few releases.
RS: Are you touring the US or have you been to the US to tour yet?
Jesse Voorn: No, I have played a couple of times in the US but at the moment it is really tough to work there without a visa. At the moment we are working on my visa and it looks good. Hopefully when I get that all hell will break loose, it is going to be really epic.
RS: How does an artist like you get a visa for the US?
Jesse Voorn: You have a few requirements that are basically the same for everyone. You need a lot of new tracks and a lot of new stuff going on. You need your fans and they have to see that you are serious in the business and really appealing and attracting a nice crowd.
RS: When you make music are you using Ableton or Cubase, or what kind of software do you use?
Jesse Voorn: I basically use Ableton, I think that it is really intuitive and it’s very nice to work with. I have actually made some mistakes in Ableton where I thought it was really bad but I listened again and decided that it was actually really good. I have basically made some breaks and patterns on accident and decided to keep it and I can quickly save it.
RS: What are you working on in the studio right now?
Jesse Voorn: Right now I am wrapping up a few tracks. I just had a track on Protocol and I am going to do a two track EP on Mutants at the end of the month and one on CR2 as well. Right now I have 2 or 3 tracks running that I need to finish, but it all takes time and you can’t really force creativity. When they are done we are going to be searching for some nice labels for those as well.
RS: When you make a track, how do you decide what is going on Revealed or CR2? Do you make that decision or how does that happen?
Jesse Voorn: When I make music, I don’t want to think about a label that is fitting. I know people and maybe unconsciously I do it as well, but they write for a certain label. Of course you have desires to release on something like Size or Flamingo or Revealed... Basically when I do a track, I want to do a track that I really like and is awesome that I can play as well as other people can play. When it is done I think about what label would be good. I just did a track on Tommie Sunshine’s label Brooklyn Fire which was out in November. After I made it I thought that I would be the perfect track for Tommie and I sent it to him to see what he thought. It’s kind of funny that a track kind of directs you to a label instead of me making a track for a label.
RS: Do you do a lot of collaborations or are you mostly a solo person?
Jesse Voorn: I used to do a lot of collaborations in the past, but over the last 2 years I have only done solo stuff. Now I am starting to pick up on collaborations again. I just talked to a few people here in Amsterdam and in a few weeks after I finish my stuff we are going to do some nice collaborations.
RS: Let’s pretend that you are in a room and sitting in front of you is yourself at age 18, what advice would you give to your 18 year-old self?
Jesse Voorn: Oh man that is going to be hard, because at age 18 you are really a rookie. What I would say to myself is take care of yourself and be humble to the world and enjoy yourself and have fun. Go out there and try everything, make mistakes, do everything and don’t be afraid to do anything because sometimes that holds people back. Enjoy yourself. I think that is really important and I would say that to myself.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your new fans out there?
Jesse Voorn: It’s really good to be here and I hope to be in the US soon. Thank you so much for all of your support, if you want to know anything even what size shoe I wear just send me some questions and I am happy to answer them. I hope to see you in the club pretty soon.
Interview conducted at Amsterdam Dance Event 2014.